To subscribe to ExchangeEveryDay, a free daily e-newsletter, go to


Gathering in a Good Way

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Poet, 1803-1882

The National Association for the Education of Young Children 2022 (#naeyc2022) conference last week offered a great reminder of so much we are grateful for. We shared sessions and conversations with many of our authors, readers, and new friends on care, gender, equity, racism and social justice, natural outdoor classrooms, mental health, environments, play, neurodivergence, infants and toddlers, equity and well-being and more! We are grateful for each one of you who care for our children and you who care for our carers, too.

As many of us gather with friends and family, I hear the resolute voice of Joleen Whipple of the Tribal Child Care Association of California who always reminds us to begin each meeting and gathering "in a good way," including centering ourselves in gratitude. On the other side of the continent, the Haudenosaunee (known as the Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations) begin gatherings with the Thanksgiving Address, "offering greetings and thanks to all the elements of life that sustain us. This ritual brings everyone into the space with a good mind, ready to listen and learn." It begins, in part:

Each day, when there is an important matter at hand, we must give thanks…
We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the people on the Earth, that they are still tending to their responsibilities so that peace can be possible on earth.
So let it be in our minds…

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the earth, that in her kindness she still continues to provide us with her strength, for this is what we need to continue to live peacefully upon her body.
So let it be in our minds…

Read the entire address at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian or view a multimedia version at

For more information about Exchange's magazine, books, and other products pertaining to ECE, go to

© 2005 Child Care Information Exchange - All Rights Reserved | Contact Us | Return to Site